12/06 New Tiny House Certification Program

NOAH certification for tiny houses

NOAH certification for tiny houses

A new tiny house certification program is under development from NOAH, the National Organization of Alternative Housing, started by Floridians Andrew Bennett of Trekker Trailers and Robin Forrest Butler of Sherwood in the Forrest and Tiny House of Hope. While not yet active, details are expected to be forthcoming in January.

This effort is greatly needed. Without national standards, tiny housers will continue to struggle to find places to live.

Other groups have been down this road. A few years ago, Tiny House Community and the Tiny House Alliance wrote standards for the construction of a safe and sturdy tiny house.

The Tiny House Foundation, started by Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life, but no longer active, undertook a similar effort over the course of two years but no standards were published.

The standards developed by the Tiny House Alliance were later modified and adopted by the American Tiny House Association. However, because of pushback from two different groups (those who wanted no standards and those who wanted to follow the RVIA, even though it excludes DIYers), the certification program was changed to Guidelines.

Without national standards, tiny houses represent an unknown bundle of risk to zoning officials, insurers, and RV park property owners. With standards, we can begin to carve out our place in the world, in harmony and cooperation with our neighbors. While I haven’t yet seen the standards from NOAH, I support the effort and look forward to learning more.